Filewrapper®

The Future of GMOs in the UK Post-Brexit

February 15, 2018
Post by Sarah M. Dickhut

Following the United Kingdom triggering its formal exit from the European Union, negotiations regarding the details of the exit and the following transition period have begun. As one could expect, this negotiation process has brought to light underlying tensions between the UK and the EU. These tensions recently reached a peak when earlier this month the EU's negotiator warned that a post-Brexit transition is "not given" as parts of the EU's terms for the exit are non-negotiable, despite the UK's "substantial" objections. Although the strain between the two entities somewhat declined in the following days, the fate of the UK is by no means certain.

The uncertainty created by Brexit threatens to overshadow even the more decided areas of the exit--but that is not necessarily all bad. For example, the UK has indicated it will maintain much of the intellectual property law set in place by the EU. But within the broad standards of uniform intellectual property protection, the UK would still have significant leeway to modify its own regulations. One such area of intellectual property law is the realm of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). In the wake of Brexit, the UK government has confirmed that it will review the existing regulations on genetically modified (GM) products. Although the regulations are less likely to be modified to allow human consumption of GMOs, regulations allowing the development and sale of GM products for other purposes (like animal feed) are not off the table. 

The United Kingdom is one of the most pro-GMO member states of the European Union. The UK also currently imports GM commodities (although it does not yet commercially grow GM products). More significantly, a substantial amount of the UK's agricultural production is devoted to cereals, including wheat and barley. If the UK modified its existing regulations to allow for the growth and sale of GM cereals, even for purposes besides human consumption, this would allow the UK to enter global agricultural markets on a more competitive scale. It would additionally create immense new opportunities for patent and plant variety protection within the UK. Patentees interested in GMO protection should watch carefully as the UK revisits its GMO regulations, and develop a contingency plan for protection within the UK.

Sarah Dickhut is an Associate Attorney in the Chemical/Biotech Patent Practice Group at McKee, Voorhees & Sease, PLC. For additional information please visit www.ipmvs.com or contact Sarah directly via email at sarah.dickhut@ipmvs.com.

 




Post Categories

Comments (0)
Post a Comment



Captcha Image
Return to the Filewrapper Blog

Search Posts

Purpose

The attorneys of McKee, Voorhees & Sease, P.L.C. designed this blog as an informational and educational resource about intellectual property law for our clients, other attorneys, and the public as a whole. Our goal is to provide cutting-edge information about recent developments in intellectual property law, including relevant case law updates, proposed legislation, and intellectual property law in the news.

Disclaimer

McKee, Voorhees & Sease, P.L.C. provides this blog for general informational purposes only. By using this blog, you agree that the information on this blog does not constitute legal or other professional advice and no attorney-client or other relationship is created between you and McKee, Voorhees & Sease, P.L.C. Do not consider this blog to be a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified, licensed attorney. While we try to revise this blog on a regular basis, it may not reflect the most current legal developments. We consciously refrain from expressing opinions on this blog and instead, offer it as a form of information and education, however if there appears an expression of opinion, realize that those views are indicative of the individual and not of the firm as a whole.

Connect with MVS

Enter your name and email address to recieve the latest news and updates from us and our attorneys.

Subscribe to: MVS Newsletter

Subscribe to: Filewrapper® Blog Updates

  I have read and agree to the terms and conditions of McKee, Voorhees & Sease, P.L.C.

Captcha Image